China's mask production capacity utilization rate reaches 94 pct: official

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's mask production capacity utilization rate reached 94 percent as of Tuesday with more enterprises that had suspended operations due to the novel coronavirus outbreak resuming production, an official said Thursday.


Workers arrange protective suits at a workshop in a company in Ningjin County, north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 12, 2020. Many local companies producing protective suits have rushed to work to meet the increasing need of medical material after the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: Xinhua)

In particular, the capacity utilization rate of medical N95 masks, which are urgently needed on the front lines of the battle against the epidemic, reached 128 percent on Tuesday, said Xia Nong, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, at a press conference held in Beijing.

The daily production of medical N95 masks in Hubei Province had risen sharply from 45,000 on Feb. 2 to Tuesday's 158,000, according to Xia.

With the national coordination and arrangements, the supply of medical masks for medical personnel at the front lines has been guaranteed in provinces hit hard by the epidemic outbreak including Hubei, Guangdong, Henan and Zhejiang.

Further steps to expand mask production will be carried out according to the needs of epidemic prevention and control, and the supply of equipment and materials will be strengthened to ensure production, he said.

Xia called for equipment manufacturers to go full steam ahead in production to help alleviate the problems related to the supply and demand of masks.